Frequently Asked Questions
RELEASE FROM LIABILITY
WELCOME LETTER AND INFORMATION SHEET
Payment and Scheduling:
Contact MC Equestrian for a scheduling link to be sent to you.
A minimum of 24 hour in advance notice for reservation of lesson time is required.
Payment for lesson is due DAY OF LESSON
Payment must be Check, Exact Cash only,
As a "Mobile Instructor/Trainer," Marilyn offers both lessons on your own horse at your location of choice and has lesson horse(s) available at 4Him Ranch. However, the use of the lesson horse is only available to those willing to come to 4Him Ranch. (In other words (MC Equestrian will not haul a lesson horse to you). You can also choose to bring your horse to 4Him Ranch for a lesson with Marilyn as well.
For those who plan to use MC -Equestrian's lesson horse, due to the size of MC-Equestrian's strongest lesson horse there is a "Rider Weight Limit" See "Weight Policy" further down this page.
What should I expect in lessons?
We teach at a pace within each student’s level, from beginner to advanced levels. As a Certified Instructor, Marilyn is prepared to address the needs and occasional insecurities of the novice rider, as well as proficiently advance the experienced client in their abilities and skills. As an instructor, she truly cares about the success of the rider.
If using lesson horse, we want you to have the whole experience:
Safely and confidently catch and handle the horse on the ground.
Groom and saddle the horse in the tack suited to their discipline of choice.
Mount and warm up
Ride their lesson 40 min (Saddle time)
Bathe and care for their horse as needed.
Feeding, and ranch chores are also optional.
Marilyn will be there to ensure the success and enjoyment of the entire process.
What days are available? When are you open?
Open Monday through Saturday (Closed Sundays)
Go to "Contact" to inquirer about scheduling and times available.
Where are you located?
MC Equestrian is based in Oklahoma USA.
As a "Mobile Instructor/Trainer" Marilyn does travel... however, scheduling is limited for "long distance travel" (over 35 miles from Purcell OK).
What age can a child start?
We recommend waiting until a child is 7 or 8 years old. We have started riders at 6, but for the majority of children, the ability to control a strong 900 to 1500 lb animal is difficult until age 7. At or around the age of 7, they start to think quickly, organize their responses, comprehend instructions well, and respond in a way to help themselves. Our priority is the rider's safety.
What should I wear?
Generally, to start out, long pants, and a pair of boots with a low heel. Please, no spaghetti straps, and long hair should be tied back. Helmets are REQUIRED for ALL students. We highly recommend rider purchase his/her own Helmet. Helmet must be ASTM-SEI (Safety Institute) approved for equestrian activities. They must be within the 5-year expiration of mfg date. As your participant falls in love with riding, we will be happy to advise you on any necessary equipment and clothing.
MC Equestrian has a lot to offer, check out the "Services" tab for more details.
Services (at this time) NOT offered?:
Birthday Parties (Traveling outside of 4Him ranch location).
Why Ride a Horse?
Riding is great exercise. It is a healthy life-long activity, fun, builds lifelong friendships, is an opportunity to bond with and understand an animal companion. You will learn patience, create responsibility, and build confidence. It is a unique chance to compete, grow and learn.
Is Riding good for ME?
It is extremely good for balance, cognitive development, muscle strength and is often used therapeutically. It uses almost all your muscles, including the leg, abdominal, shoulder, neck, back, and arms. Did you know the average person can only tighten their stomach muscles for about 10 seconds? A recreational horse rider, up to a minute, a competitive and active rider, about 6 minutes solid. Try it! Flexibility in the muscles helps with stability and coordination. It stimulate internal organs, helps liver function and digestion, making it great for all, including therapeutic riders. For older riders, and young ones too, actually, riding stimulates the brain and keeps it working well.
Is It Difficult to Ride a Horse?
You’re just sitting there, right? Not really. Good riding looks effortless, but it just "looks" that way. There’s a lot going on in the saddle, especially with the muscles, and the point is to make it look easy. When a rider says everything feels effortless, that's the moment when hard won skill, meets talent and athleticism. Competing at the higher levels takes more commitment, time, and money. Pleasure riders still burn up to 450 calories every hour. Yes, while having fun!
Is Horseback Riding a Sport?
YES! The definition of a sport is an athletic activity requiring skill, physical prowess, of a competitive nature, and governed by a set of rules or customs. This sport encourages all types of mental exercise that includes things like problem solving, planning, and memorization.
"Evaluation" What is the Instructor looking for in me the possible student?
All new clients are required to book an “Orientation/Evaluation” before scheduling regular lessons. The purpose of the Orientation is for the potential student(s) to meet the instructor(s) and the lesson horse(s). In addition, the Instructor will be evaluating (in person) the potential student ensuring that MC-Equestrian would be a good fit for the student.
Participating in "Orientation" does NOT guarantee there is availability for you to book lessons. (Waiting lists are available).
List of things the Instructor would be assessing (but not limited to):
Able to follow basic instruction rules. (See forms for rules)
Dress code appropriate for when at the barn. (See forms or "What to Ware" above)
Helmet fit and the safety checks. (See forms or "What to Ware" above).
Check that all neassasry forms signed and filled out appropriately.
Student meets the age requirements.
If student wishes to use their own equipment (i.e. saddle/reins) a safety check MUST be performed by instructors before use of any client equipment.
Student’s cognitive function. (MC Equestrian is NOT able to accommodate those with special needs at this time). Referrals available upon request.
If the Instructor deems it safe, and the student participates in an “Evaluation Ride” / “Sample Lesson” the student must be able to mount and dismount the horse independently. “Mounting blocks” are used for when “Getting on” the horse. However, mounting blocks are NEVER used for when dismounting off the horse. (Rider must follow instructions directions and dismount safely to the ground).
Rider’s level of fitness.
For mounted riding lessons the rider's weight limit is 20 % of horse’s weight (this is Industry Standard). MC Equestrian’s current strongest lesson horse can safely carry up to 200lbs. (See “Weight Limit” policy below).
Rider Weight policy:
The safety and health of both the horses and riders is MC-Equestrians top priority!
At this time, because MC-Equestrian is limited on the availability of lesson horse(s). MC-Equestrian is in the position of having to set a (temporary) weight limit of 200 lbs.
This wight limit is based off of "Industry Standard" (for the horse’s safety and wellbeing) that a horse can carry appropriately 20% of their own body weight (including tack/equipment).
For clients that wish to ride and are over this (temporary) weight limit a “waiting list” is available for if/when MC-Equestrian attains other lesson horse(s) that can accommodate. However, if a client is over the (temporary) limits “Ground lessons” (or non-mounted horsemanship lessons) CAN possibly be offered!
What does your name MC Equestrian - “Miroir du Cheval” mean?
The name “Miroir du Cheval” loosely translated means “Mirror of the Horse”
See the "About" tab for more information.
Tell me a little bit about MC Equestrian:
Here at MC Equestrian, we strive to offer professional, fun, educated, instruction and training to both the horse and rider. Our approach to training/teaching is that the horse is a direct reflection of the rider’s own biomechanics.
What is Biomechanics?
The definition of biomechanics is: "The study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms." See the "About" tab for more information.
Why would I want to learn Biomechanics?
If the rider is crooked and off balance, then the horse will be as well. It is our goal for the riders to learn and understand how their own body has a direct affect on the horse in the way it moves and performs. Understanding this, makes you a better rider, competitor, and companion to your horse. No matter your riding discipline or style, biomechanics has something for everyone. See the "About" tab for more information.
Why do you teach Biomechanics?
When riders come to me with questions on how to better ride their horse, offend the solution is helping them communicate better with their body to the horse. A simple example being they will think they are asking the horse "go" when in facet their body mechanics are screaming "WHOE." Because the horse is like a hairy mirror to us the evidence in the "miss communication" is a two way street.
What are your Certifications and Credentials?
Marilyn is a USDF Bronze Medalist and a Certified Instructor with the following organizations:
CHA - Certified Horsemanship Association – Master Level and Clinic Instructor
PATH – Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship – Instructor
What does "USDF Bronze Medalist" mean?
To be a "USDF Bronze Medalist" means a active competitor and member of the "United States Dressage Federation." The horse you ride must also be registered with the USDF.
For a Bronze Medal, you need two scores over 60% in each First, Second and Third Levels. Each of the two scores/level need to be from two different judges and for two separate rides.
What does "CHA Master Instructor" / "Clinic Instructor" / "PATH Instructor" mean?
CHA Master Level Instructor is the highest level of certification for both Western and English styles of riding.
CHA Clinic Instructor is someone who goes to CHA clinics and actually certifies others to become instructors in both Western and English.
PATH Instructor is someone who is certified to teach those with disabilities with an organization that is active around the world.